Daily Archives: May 2, 2010

Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet Deserves Credit For Library’s $6M Budget Cut

It’s good to see that someone at the county level is looking out for the tax payers here in Monmouth County.

After weeks of pressure, Freeholder Amy Mallet was successful in her efforts to have the the budget for the Monmouth County Library System scrutinized more closely and its a good thing that she did because the freeholder board’s finance director, Craig Marshall, found$6M in surplus funds that the Library Commission had been stockpiling in it’s rainy day fund.

Thanks to this finding the library commission will reduce its tax levy by $430,000, which would make the tax levy for the library system the same as in the previous year.

It’s too bad that Freehold Director Lillian Burry, places partisan politics ahead of good fiscal practices, by refusing to give Freeholder Mallet credit for the savings. It shouldn’t come as a surprise thought because Mallet has accused Burry in the past of obstructing closer looks at the budgets of other county departments.

Bob Jordan of the Asbury Park Press wrote about it in an article published on line Friday and which appeared in print yesterday.

“A closer look at the Monmouth County Library Commission’s books — not those on the shelves, but the accountant’s books — has led to good news for taxpayers, with significant budget and tax levy reductions.

Pressure by the county Board of Freeholders prompted the semiautonomous commission to cut its annual budget by $6 million and reduce its tax levy by $430,000, putting the levy at the same $12.15 million used in the previous year. The freeholders approved the new levy April 22.

The changes followed weeks of pressure from Democrat Amy Mallet for stepped-up scrutiny of the library budget. The freeholder board’s finance director, Craig Marshall, found that the commission was stockpiling excessive surplus funds — with enough money in its rainy-day fund to run operations for nearly an additional year. Marshall also uncovered budgeting for unneeded items and overbudgeting for other purchases….”

You can read more of the story >>> Here

As one commenter, voiceoflogic, wrote in response to the article:
How was this not scrutinized before? Are we to believe not all budgets were loooked into before we started jacking taxes and laying people off and jeopardizing thier livihoods. Wonder what other pots of gold will be found under the next overturned rock.

I happen to agree, in this time of economic turmoil every stone should be overturned to find what lays beneath for possible savings.
I applaud Freeholder Mallet for taking the initiative and applying the same standard to the County Library Commission as Governor Christie took on local school boards across the state by making them use their budget surpluses to hold down tax levies.
With the further scrutinising of the budgets from all Monmouth County governmental departments, what other excesses will be found that could potentially save tax payers of this county money?

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Asbury Park Press, Bob Jordan, budget surplus, Gov. Chris Christie, Monmouth County Freeholder, Monmouth County Library

Letter: In Middletown Hypocrisy Reigns

I received the following letter in my email box on Friday, I meant to post it earlier but it’s been a crazy week around the MiddletownMike household.

Dear Editor,

IF hypocrisy was a qualification for leadership the mayor of Middletown would be king of the hill. Hypocrisy exposes the lack of leadership qualities possessed by this man .

The fiasco surrounding the recent proposal for turf fields during the current economic recession is a classic example of the ambiguity that this mayor operates by. Some two hundred plus angry residents packed town hall on successive town meetings and backed down this mayor and the republican majority . The turf field projects were cancelled. They never should have been proposed in the first place during this economic climate.

It is a fact that this majority on the Middletown Township Committee has shown nothing but disdain and disregard for the residents they are supposed to represent .As for leadership qualities ,they are not evident or clearly do not exist as government suffers daily from the incompetence and irresponsibility shown by this group.

It’s nearly May and no budget in place and no willingness to work with the one committeeman that has a clue about how to manage this town’s finances. The reason they won’t work with him… .because he is a Democrat !

He’s qualified to help and he was elected to represent the people of this township . If there is a leader on this township committee it is Sean Byrnes. It is long past time to recognize this fact and allow this man to serve the constituency of Middletown residents that elected him. It is irresponsible to do otherwise !

Barbara R. Thorpe

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Filed under hypocrisy and government, lack of leadership, Middletown